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Root defends declaration after Headingley defeat

Root defends declaration after Headingley defeat

Tom Westley kept his place in an unchanged 13-man England squad announced on Wednesday for next week's decisive third Test against West Indies at Lord's.

Stuart Broad had a hand in both wickets to fall on the final morning at Headingley - literally in the case of a freakish run out of Kyle Hope - but Kraigg Brathwaite escaped two dropped catches to continue his outstanding match.

Former West Indies fast bowler, Sir Curtly Ambrose.

But after resuming on five without loss, the West Indies scored more than 300 runs on the last day at Root's Yorkshire home ground.

Broad was proving expensive but he persisted with a fuller length and finally had the breakthrough as Powell departed for 23 after edging to Ben Stokes, who took a chest-high catch at fourth slip.

Alas, the West Indian middle-order calmed any developing Caribbean nerves, with Roston Chase and Jermaine Blackwood - both alongside Hope - taking their side to the edge of victory.

Instead it was Broad who struck twice in contrasting fashion as the West Indies' 46 for none became 53 for two.

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Even though Blackwood was stumped by Jonny Bairstow off the bowling of Moeen, Hope hit the winning runs the very next over and finished unbeaten on 118 off 211 deliveries, which included 14 boundaries.

When Brathwaite edged Moeen Ali (2-76) to Stokes at slip, tantalisingly short of a second century of the match and with 125 runs still required, there was a sense that the home side may have wrestled back some of the momentum which had seemingly slipped from their grasp.

Root, though, was not prepared to question his decision to declare, insisting: "It's nice to look back in hindsight and see how things could have gone". The strongest came from Curtley Ambrose, who branded the performance at Edgbaston, where the tourists were hammered by an innings and 209 runs after losing 19 wickets on the final day, "pathetic", "embarrassing" and "painful to watch".

Root declared just before the close on Monday, setting Windies 321 runs to win the match and gave his bowlers 102 overs to get ten wickets on a fifth day pitch. "I thought we were in a good position at tea but we let them slip away". "Someone had to do it, so I just put my hand up and did it for the team", he said. I urged no-one to move from their seats, and it was nerve-wracking in the end.

"Good knocks by Kraigg Brathwaite and Shai Hope whom I have [paid] a lot of [attention to]". I'm extremely proud of these guys. He will have to get proficient in leading and orchestrating proceedings in different conditions around the world and that takes time. It's about delivering on the big stage.

Law continued: "I said if he gets one (hundred), he'll get plenty - well, he got one and he's got another". Each and every member of the team felt it; we were really hard on ourselves but it wasn't a situation where we could panic. I am a professional cricketer for a reason so I always believe in myself.

"We were trying to go up five runs at a time and keep going, keep burying them nearly, make them suffer in terms of keeping them out in the field", the usually mild-mannered all-rounder added.

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